Lession: 2 Animation Tool: Synfig Card or Page based Icon and Event based Time based Pencil: Synfig Studio: Getting Started: Toolbox Canvas Panels

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1 Lession: 2 Animation Tool: Synfig In previous chapter we learn Multimedia and basic building block of multimedia. To create a multimedia presentation using these building blocks we need application programs known as multimedia authoring tool. Generally, the authoring tools are classified into: Card or Page based tools Icon and Event based tools Time based tools In Card or Page based authoring tools the elements are organized as pages of a book or pile of cards Some examples of card based authoring tools are HyperCard and Multimedia Toolbook. In Icon and Event based authoring tools the elements are organized as objects in a structural framework or process. Authorware and IconAuthor are example of Icon and Event based authoring tools. In Time based authoring tools the elements are organized along a timeline. Synfig, Pencil, Flash and Director are example of time based authoring tools. Some of the open source animation tools are easily available on internet are Pencil and Synfig. Pencil: Pencil is a 2D animation software that lets you create hand-drawn animation using both bitmap and vector image. It can be free downloaded from In Pencil animation software, you can create good animation if you are good at free hand-drawing. Synfig Studio: Synfig Studio is a time based multimedia authoring tool that falls in the category of open source. It is available free of cost on the internet and can be downloaded from Synfig is 2D vector animation software released in 2005 under the GNU GPL (General Public License). It is designed to produce film-quality animation with fewer people and resource. It is available on various operating systems like Linux, Windows and MacOS X. Synfig stores animations in XML (extensible markup language) file format. This files use the filename extension.sif in uncompressed form or.sifz in compressed form. Getting Started: To start Synfig, in the menu bar click Application Graphics Synfig. When you start Synfig studio you must have observed that it does not start in one window, but open a number of individual windows on the desktop. We can drag the window to change the size. Let us first get familiar with the user interface of Synfig. In figure you can see the Synfig studio. Toolbox Canvas Panels

2 Panels As seen in the above figure the components in the user interface are: toolbox, canvas and panels. Toolbox: Toolbox is the main window which contains system menu and tools to create and edit your artwork. Even if you have several project open there will only be one toolbox for all. Using the toolbox we can open the new file, save the file and setup properties. The toolbox also contains the general tools like circle, rectangle, transform and others, for creating and editing an object. The toolbox window is separated into three areas or palette: The Upper palette contains buttons for standard file operations like create a new file, open a file, save, save all file, undo and redo as well as access to the setting dialog and the help system. In the middle palette we have the tool like circle, rectangle, transform and other for creating and manipulating the object. The lowest palette contains the default setting for new layer like. Foreground and Background color: it creates the fill and the outline colors for Upper Palette the objects. Brush Size: set the size of the line for new outline layer. Blend Method: sets the blend method This will be discussed later. Middle Palette Opacity: It controls the layer visibility. 0 means invisible, 1 means visible. Gradient: use to gradient layers as their Fill. Interpolation: each waypoint has an Interpolation settings which determines the Lower Palette

3 Manner in which the parameter change. Canvas: When you open a new file or create a new project you will see the canvas window. The area with the gray check-board pattern is the working area in which you can create elements/layers and manipulate them. In the upper left corner of the canvas you can see caret, a little black triangle. Clicking on this button it will open a popup menu. You can also see the timeline which appears only when you have non-zero duration in the setting dialog. Panels: Synfig has different type of panels like layers, parameter, history etc. Panels contain tools and information about certain elements of your projects. The two windows on the bottom and to the right are customizable dock dialogs. Each dock dialog contains a set of panels which are arranged horizontally or vertically. Let us discuss the function of some of the important panels: Layer Panel: It displays the layer of your working canvas and also allows manipulate these layer. Params Panel: It shows the currently selected parameters. When multiple layers are selected, only the parameters that are common on the selected layers are displayed. Tool Option Panel: It shows options that are specific to the currently selected tools. Navigator: It shows a thumbnail image of what the currently selected canvas looks like. History Panel: It keeps track of all the actions that are done while editing the file. Creating New File: Create a new file perform the following steps: Select Toolbox New File. Alternatively, when you start Synfig a new file is automatically created. Click on the Caret Edit Properties. It will open the following dialog box. Tools: Tools help you to create the artwork for your multimedia project. Synfig provides various tools to create and manipulate an object. You can set the name of the file and give description to your animation. In the window you can see three tabs namely Image, Time and other. The Image tab is used to set the image size and image area. The Time tab is used for setting the start time, end time and frames per second. Now Click OK button and the changes will be applied.

4 Tools are visible in the tool options panel. And parameters are visible in the parameter panel. Let us first discuss the tools used to draw an object. Circle Tool: The circle tool is used to create a new circle layer. Circle layer are used to represent circles. A circle has two important parameter: center and radius. To draw a circle select the circle tool, click in the working area where you want the center of the circle to be and then drag to set the radius. Using the tool options panel you can also change the name of the circle layer. If you want to edit the circle, say for example you want to increase the radius of the circle or move the circle then click on the duck. A circle will have two ducks: One to the control position of its center, and second to control its radius. Ducks come in different color and they have specific meaning. Green Position of the object Blue Radius of the circle Orange Vertices Yellow Curves Dark blue To change the angle in star Sometimes, one type of duck interferes or gets into the way of another duck. You can turn the ducks on/off by selecting the option present on the top of the canvas window. Rectangle Tool: We can use the rectangle tool in the same way we used circle tool. It is used to create a rectangle layer. To draw a rectangle, select the rectangle tool, click where you want any corner of the rectangle to be, and then drag to the opposite corner. Star and Polygon Tool: We can use the star and polygon tool to create the star layer and polygon layer. A polygon can be created using any number of points and then click on the first point to close it. BLine Tool: Bline tool is used to make objects with any number of points and curves. Click on the Bline tool and start inserting the point. To stop drawing the object, right click on the last point. Draw Tool: You must familiar with draw tool as it is the most common tool for drawing. You can draw with the help of mouse. Fill Tool: The Fill tool changes the color of object. To fill a color in the object, select the color from the color palette. Select the fill tool button and then click on the object. This tool has an effect on the following layer. 1) Circle Layer 2) Rectangle Layer 3) Polygon Layer 4) Star Layer 5) Region Layer 6) Outline Layer 7) Checkboard Layer Eyedrop Tool: The Eyedrop tool allows you to select colors from the Eyedrop tool. Select the Eyedrop tool, and then click in the work area to set the default foreground color in the Eyedrop tool to be the color you are currently pointing at. Gradient Tool: The Gradient tool is used to create smooth transitions between two or more colors in an object. When you select the Gradient tool, the tool option panel will show the option for Gradient tool. It allows you to set a name for the layer and choose the type of Gradient.

5 There are four type of Gradients like linear, radial, conical and spiral. Linear Radial Conical Spiral Linear: This produces a simple transition in a straight line. Sets the foreground and background color. Radial: This produces circular colors with the transition being at the center of those circles. Conical: This has the appearance of looking down on a tip of a cone. Spiral: This produces a spiral gradient. Text Tool: Text tool allows you to enter text by creating a text layer. Select the text tool icon from the toolbox, and then click in the canvas window where you want the text layer to be created. A dialog box will appear, allowing you to enter the text you want in the created layer. Using the parameter panel we can change the entered text later on according to our need. The tool options panel will allow us to: Select the name for the new layer. Select single or multi line editor for entering the text. Select the horizontal and vertical size of the text. Select the orientation of the text. Select the font family. Zoom Tool: The Zoom tool is used to get a closer or far away view of the objects in the working area. The zooming does not affect the output results. It is used to just view the objects from close or far range. Width Tool: The Width tool helps to increase or decrease the width of a line. It acts like the way you use pencil to make a line thicker or eraser to make it thinner. Select the outline layer to change the width on particular segment of a line, and then mouse over that line. Transform Tool: Transform tool allows you to select objects and to move, rotate or scale the ducks. Select the object on the canvas window and click the transform tool. If the object cannot get selected as it is obscured by another layer then you can select its layer in the layer panel. This will display the ducks of the object. Smooth Move Tool: Smooth move tool works just like transform tool, except when multiple ducks are selected. Select multiple ducks by pressing CTRL+a or dragging a rectangle around the ducks. Scale Tool: Just as we discussed smooth move tool, here also when we select multiple ducks, and drag one of the selected ducks the other selected ducks will scale relative to the center of the selected group.

6 Rotate Tool: As in smooth move and scale tool, when we select multiple ducks, and drag one of the selected ducks the other selected ducks will move rotating about the center of the selected group.

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